Don’t Cancel the Holidays, Enjoy Them Differently to Keep the Spirit Alive
Sixty-seven percent of adults are happy to think about spending time with family and friends this holiday season; in addition, many feel love, joy, and excitement, according to AARP. But Bustle says 50% are happier to see their dog than to spend time with their family.
Since 2008, Macy’s and Make-A-Wish have partnered to raise funds and grant wishes to help critically ill children in its “Believe” campaign, but Believe Day isn’t on the calendar. It’s unlikely there will be a Macy’s parade, either.
If you’re not traveling to be with family, you can still celebrate the holidays. In the United States, the holiday season is traditionally the time from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Keep the holiday spirit alive by remembering what the holidays are about and celebrating them differently.
Gratitude never goes out of style. Thanksgiving is commonly a time where you think of turkey, cranberries, and stuffing where you stuff yourself full, then sit around the TV to watch football and peruse newspaper ads for Black Friday deals. It’s a day to be thankful for your blessings.
What if we were grateful more often?
Do you remember why we’re thankful?
The origin of the holiday comes from the voyage the pilgrims made across the Atlantic, from England, to land at Plymouth Rock near Massachusetts. The early pilgrims struggled through the winter, but had a new hope in the Spring, and built homes and planted crops. Settlers also celebrated what has become known as Thanksgiving after harvesting the first round of crops as a way to show gratitude.
You can be creative to show gratitude.
Browse the Lights
Enjoy a Festival of Lights. Load up the family in the car and drive the neighborhood or city to enjoy festive lights. Maybe plan a day trip to a nearby destination where everyone gets in their jammies to find light displays you wouldn’t otherwise see. Play memorable songs and set the mood for a special occasion. When you return home, you’re already dressed accordingly and can go straight to bed.
We think of Christmas as a time to give gifts, and especially for kids, it’s the time when Santa comes. Sometimes we forget to look around to see if we can meet the needs of others. You can give to a community food or clothing drive.
Angel Tree blesses children with gifts who may otherwise be without because their parents are in prison.
If you are looking to make a global impact, you can support Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. From the comfort of your home, you can select small items a child wants, as well as some necessities that fit in the size of a shoebox, to be shipped overseas. You can even track your shoebox to its final destination if you choose to do so.
The Norman Rockwell Christmas seldom lives up to the nostalgic feelings in your head, but this year you can slow down and get creative to enjoy special time with those in your household. Maybe it’s a chance to enjoy taking extra time to decorate cookies. Or string a popcorn garland for the tree.
Start Something New
Organize something with the neighbors. There’s a need somewhere that’s commonly overlooked. Identify a need and make plans to improve it. Maybe it’s the opportunity to clean up and prune common areas. You can bring people together to achieve a common goal. Making outdoor improvements is something you can do together while keeping a safe distance.
You can fill a thermos with hot chocolate or warm milk, and go door-to-door while singing carols. Maybe go to church. Again, be careful to gather with safety in mind.
As the year closes, you may reflect on things that went well throughout the year and things you might want to change as you look into the next year. Reflection commonly happens while enjoying food and beverages, music, and dancing.
You might make alterations to behavior, like going to the gym more often or set the goal to quit smoking, for example. Instead of making radical changes that are usually short-term, you can opt to make smaller, consistent changes to meet goals more easily.
Keep the Spirit Alive
The holidays are a particular time when togetherness, peace, love and joy are fostered. During this time of year, special times are more about the feelings they create in the participants, rather than the activities themselves. With a little creativity, the holidays don’t have to be canceled. Keep the spirit alive by celebrating them differently.